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House of Mirth
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The House of Mirth

4.6 3
Director: Terence Davies, Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, Dan Aykroyd

Cast: Terence Davies, Gillian Anderson, Eric Stoltz, Dan Aykroyd


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Terence Davis's adaptation of Henry James's The Golden Bowl comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include


Terence Davis's adaptation of Henry James's The Golden Bowl comes to DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Closed-captioned English soundtracks are rendered in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital Surround. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by the director, deleted scenes with optional commentary, trailers, production notes, and filmographies. This is a high-quality disc from Columbia/TriStar.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
A New York socialite circa 1905 learns hard life lessons in this beautifully austere period piece from British director Terence Davies (The Neon Bible). Based on Edith Wharton's celebrated novel, it stars Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as Lily Bart, a young, husband-hunting society woman whose unique blend of integrity and naiveté leads to her exile from the world of privilege. Davies charts Bart's spectacularly steep fall from grace with superb restraint, allowing the story to unfold slowly and quietly, with subtly executed scenes that work as set pieces. Insinuation and innuendo propel the story line, which is punctuated by the briefest moments of intense emotion. Anderson plays the lead with a perfect combination of strength and vulnerability, allowing Bart's charm to fray in the face of adversity while keeping her dignity intact. The helpless witness to Bart's seemingly inexorable downward slide is a young lawyer (Eric Stoltz), the only man for whom she harbors genuine affection, but here true love offers little promise of lasting happiness. The House of Mirth is anything but mirthful, yet it's no tearjerker, either. Rather, a permeating sense of hopelessness, unfettered by any overt sentimentality, results in a film that rises above typical period fare into a realm of hushed introspection as it contemplates Bart's fate and the irrelevance of truth in the face of propriety.
All Movie Guide
This adaptation of Edith Wharton's classic novel about the emptiness and cruelty of turn-of-the-century New York high society marks yet another departure for British filmmaker Terence Davies. After earning accolades for his stylized, nostalgia pieces about his working-class upbringing, Davies turned toward adaptation with his 1995 film of John Kennedy Toole's novel The Neon Bible. The House of Mirth, with its purely linear narrative and non-autobiographical content, continues Davies' evolution. The movie stars Gillian Anderson, who gives a shattering performance as Lily Bart, a beautiful socialite whose humble means and sense of integrity combine to cast her out of the glamorous world of the New York affluent. As with another major adaptation of a Wharton novel, Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, the movie depicts the tragic destiny of an individual whose possibilities are circumscribed by an indifferent society. Compounding Lily's circumstances are her own personal failings. Paralyzed by indecision and clinging naïvely to a hazy notion of virtue, Lily marches to her doom with an almost perverse resignation -- there is an air of martyrdom to her downward spiral. Using the device of tableaux vivants as his point of departure, Davies adopts a rigorous and painterly visual scheme that evokes the paradox of a sumptuous milieu governed by repressive mores. Eschewing the elegant voice-over that Scorsese utilized in his film, Davies chooses to leave the story's subtext and psychological undercurrent unspoken. The result is a more elliptical, elusive movie that nonetheless exerts a powerful and heartbreaking pull. The movie, originally made for the Showtime cable television network, was instead picked up for theatrical distribution, and made its U.S. premiere at the 2000 New York Film Festival.
Village Voice - J. Hoberman
For much of this leisurely yet streamlined film, brilliantly adapted by British filmmaker Terence Davies from Edith Wharton's most powerful novel, the unfortunate Lily (Gillian Anderson) engages in an elaborate chess game...Davies's sense of the material is closer to a Mizoguchi geisha drama than Masterpiece Theatre...His House of Mirth depicts a prolonged martyrdom in which the heroine is tricked, abused, or betrayed by almost every character she meets. As the performances are boldly emblazoned, so the filmmaking is remarkably subtle.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Director's commentary; deleted scenes with director's commentary; production notes; filmographies; theatrical trailers; link to official House Of Mirth Website

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gillian Anderson Lily Bart
Eric Stoltz Lawrence Selden
Dan Aykroyd Gus Trenor
Eleanor Bron Mrs. Peniston
Terry Kinney George Dorset
Anthony LaPaglia Sim Rosedale
Laura Linney Bertha Dorset
Jodhi May Grace Stepney
Elizabeth McGovern Carry Fisher

Technical Credits
Terence Davies Director,Screenwriter
Remi Adefarasin Cinematographer
Pippa Cross Executive Producer
Paul Hamblin Sound/Sound Designer
Monica Howe Costumes/Costume Designer
Adrian Johnston Musical Direction/Supervision
Bob Last Executive Producer
Michael Parker Editor
Olivia Stewart Producer
Don Taylor Production Designer
Guy Travers Asst. Director
Alan J. Wands Co-producer
Edith Wharton Source Author

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [2:55]
2. Lawrence Selden [7:01]
3. Fond of dangerous people [4:45]
4. Ruels of engagement [2:53]
5. An elaborate game [5:01]
6. A great favor [5:49]
7. Bertha's indiscretion [3:31]
8. A tremendous admirer [3:20]
9. Miss Lily Bart as Summer [1:23]
10. "I need your help." [3:46]
11. A night at the opera [4:15]
12. Den of iniguity [4:00]
13. Words with Aunt Julia [3:01]
14. Grace's advice [4:20]
15. Tea with the right woman [1:07]
16. "Leave the yacht." [9:43]
17. A friendly hint [2:25]
18. "Miss Bart remains here." [5:10]
19. Julia's will & desire [1:24]
20. "I was deceived." [6:18]
21. A delicate matter [2:44]
22. The outside of Society [6:58]
23. Terminated [6:54]
24. The folly of her cause [1:49]
25. Tea & sympathy [6:00]
26. Words to live by [10:04]
27. Debt & honor [:46]
28. A great mercy [5:13]


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The House of Mirth 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have just seen House of mirth this weekend. Even though it is a bit long winded at times it was never the less an enjoyable film. I won't bore you with the details but just give a quick outline. Lily Bart (Gillian Anderson), a young socialite in the 19th century in New York, quickly goes from one diaster to the next. She has the reputation for being on a hunt for a husband (''why don't you say it Judy, I have the reputation for being on a hunt for a husband'' ) but she really only ever has her one heart caught and captured by the exclusive Mr Lawrance seldon (Eric Stolz), a man whom Lily has known for a long time. However Lily has gambling debts and in a moment of askance, she asks gus Trenor, her friends husband to look after the little money she has left. however it turns out that he took some of his money and invested it for herand after awhile wants it back. Mr rosedale (played by Anthony lapaglia) is interested in Lily but she hates him. however as the movie progresses we find out he is not as bad as everyone thinks he is. It is a sad but melonchony piece of film. Even though the film makers did not rely on a musican to write them a soundtrack for this film, the beautiful classical music they use for this film, sufices. Gillian Anderson does an extremely good job as Lily Bart and is very believable in the role. the other characters just skim over the film. laura Linney plays not a nice character in the film - you would not have guessed she was the same one, who was in You can count on me. However I did not like the way it ended - with Lily dying and mr Seldon, only realising too late (as is the way with all these sort of novels and films) he loves Lily. it is a film about the sobering force of poverty and what happens when the little tempetations of life get the better of you. it also gives an insight into the fact, that it is not how much money you have, but the way you chose to live with that money. A good historical romance, if you are in the mood for something intense (however I do warn you not to watch it with a male - they won't be able to stand all the crying in it done by the female stars) A worthwhile film to see
dj137 More than 1 year ago
Would consider reading the book first ALWAYS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago